"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.
Hypocrisy is a sin that often cripples a Christians witness to the world and his/her walk with the Lord. It is a n easy trap to fall into for the Christian and one that we must always be vigilant to avoid. Hypocrisy is largely a byproduct of self righteousness and conceit. The Apostle Paul stated that we should always consider others first so conceit should be anathema to a Christian. We should never say something like, "I would never do that!" Really, do you know who you are? Adrian Rogers said it well, "Conceit is a disease that makes everyone sick except the one who has it." That is well said except that eventually conceit devours the one who has it. So, what are three ways(not the only three) for us to avoid this trap of hypocrisy?
1) Remember your depravity, your uselessness apart from Christ. Think back before you were born again. Heck, think back to a few weeks ago when you struggled with something. Even ten minutes ago for some of us! I don't know about you but my sin is ever before me and I echo Paul's thoughts when he called himself "the chief of sinners". Remember what Christ had to do for you to make you acceptable to the Father: "For our sake he made him who knew no sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God," 2Cor. 5:21. Our righteousness, on our best days, is described as "filthy rags". Let's not spread our filth around but dwell on the righteousness that spreads Christ around. Our works are filthy, that is why Paul told us that, "For by grace you are saved, through faith, it is a gift of God lest anyone should boast," Ephesian 2:8:9. It is because of our conceit that God had to send His Son to die for us. He knows that we cannot help but boast. So let us boast in Christ and His righteousness that cost Him everything. Let us be filled with Spirit and walk in the works that Christ has prepared for us and let His righteousness than boast through us!
2) Dwell on and remember God's greatness and glory! This struck me while I was do my daily reading and read something in 1 Timothy. "Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world and taken up in glory." When Paul considered godliness what did he do? Did he fall back into morals and rules, do's and don'ts? Nope, we must know those things to define our walk but Paul started remember Christ and what He did for him. What was the Passover about? Remembering God's awesome work in delivering the Hebrews from bondage. What did Jesus tell those men on the road to Emmaus? He expounded on God's great works, he remembered and reminded. We need to pray back God's word and promises to Him and pour out our hearts in reverence. We must seek then to live His glory through ministering to the church and the lost world we live in, seeking every opportunity for God's grace to flow through us. Ask people for prayer requests and pray for them, maybe even right there! Say God bless you and Lord willing and mean it, instead of the empty words we use so often in conversation. Correct people when they take the Lord's name in vain. Let them know who it is they are speaking of and how awesome He is! Let God's glory consume you and watch the sparks fly!
3) Confess and repent. Do this daily. Do this as you need it and do it in private and in public. Repent to those who you've offended and do it as quickly as possible. Paul's instruction to husband's and wives to "not let the sun go down on their anger" is no less instructive for any other relationship. We are also told to not let bitterness grow and if we are repentful at all times this will be like spraying round up weed killer on the growth's in our soul.
If we allow the Spirit to continually fill us and we walk in Him, we are promised that we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh! That is an awesome and perfect promise. If we are in Him we CANNOT sin. Only in ourselves can we fall into sin, especially the public sin of hypocrisy. We can do this friends! I mean, He can do this, if we allow Him!
God Bless you and learn, live and love the Gospel!